Squeaky Clean Compy…

It’s just about the end of the quarter here for me. Since I’ve now gotten all my major coursework out of the way, this morning was time to clean my hard drive and start fresh. Windows runs much better if you start from scratch every 6 months or so. :-)

While doing just that is nothing to write home about, I tried something different this time. I’m now running a dual-boot system. On one partition is my reliable XP 64-bit Edition workhorse, supporting a full 8GB of RAM. On the other, shiny new Vista Business Edition.

After a day of playing, I really can’t find much to complain about with Vista. In all seriousness, the only reason I’m not switching over entirely just yet is my current installation DVD is only the 32-bit edition of Vista.

Granted, I do have a pretty awesome machine – so the graphics and transitions and nice things on Vista run the way they were intended to. What most people complain about is Vista running slow, and the whole “Are you SURE you really want to install this?” prompts are a little aggravating (but you CAN turn them off if you choose to!).

Considering all the bad hype Vista’s received, I was expecting a POS OS. Instead, I’ve got something that looks really pretty, functions no better or worse than Windows ever did, runs peppy, and makes me wish I could support all my RAM.

Windows Vista is a next generation operating system. If you don’t have a next generation computer, don’t complain if it doesn’t run the way it’s supposed to.

Next week’s goal is getting my hands on a copy of OS X to try and install on the third, currently vacant, partition of my hard drive. We’ll see how that goes…


SignWriting with Sutton US…

As part of my Deaf History course, I’m doing a research paper on ASL Illustration. One of the particular illustrators is the late Frank Allen Paul. He was the go-to guy back in the day for ASL illustrating!

Trolling the web for information before going to the library tomorrow, I happened across SignWriting. SignWriting is the practice of writing out American (or other) Sign Language on paper. Michael Everson went and created a TrueType font, which, upon finding, I promptly downloaded.

If you know ASL, or AS 3.0 (preferably both), you may find this picture interesting:
Sutton US ASL AS3

Yes, I did. I’m thinking about keeping it that way. It’s not like anyone else needs to read my code! :-P Besides, their own machines will use their own preferred font.

For more information on SignWriting and Sutton US, go to: http://www.signwriting.org/

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Theoretical Laser Tracking…

I’m currently developing a laser-pointer and webcam pointing device for a 3D game. One of the issues one runs into with this situation arises when you’re setting up the webcam. What happens if the webcam does not have a direct angle on the surface it’s looking at? What you get is this weird quadrilateral that can’t be used to directly map the laser to the mouse.

I’ve written a test program in Processing to address this problem. The white squares define the edges of the usable area. The little red square controlled by the mouse represents the laser pointer, and the larger red circle represents the cursor as the final program would interpret it. The goal is to pretend the area in the box and the area of the program are two perspectives of the same element. Every frame, the program tries to track down the x and y position of the laser dot. It follows a guess and check algorithm, and each guess is shown as a line within the box.

Note that you may click and drag the white boxes to change the shape of the usable area. Check it out!

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Circle Solver…

In preparation for a logo animation involving circles, I did some fun math for solving the intersection of two circles. Here’s a rough guess at what the logo will look like:


And here’s a link to my math work in proce55ing / processing – however you want to spell it.

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Three Pi Squared


I took the first one million digits of Pi, and pulled ten random colors from a photograph to show numbers zero through nine.

Every square was assigned a different number from the first one million digits of Pi, and colored with the color assigned to that number.

Each square then progresses to the next color at its own rate, making a twinkling animation. Click the image above to go see the animation!

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Pi is relaxing…

I could watch this all day. Actually, for almost 3 days.
Pi3D: Version 1 (give it a moment or several)

I loaded a text file containing the first million decimals of pi into proce55ing.  I then created about 180 PiPoint objects to keep track of waveform values. I have an offset counter that keeps track of what point we’re on, and each PiPoint is smart enough to find out its y-value based on the offset counter and its distance from the front of the ribbon.

In actuality, the ribbon stays in place, while the values of pi tween through it. When the points change direction it means they’ve reached a whole decimal. The slope in between represents the difference between consecutive numerals. For example, if you take 3.14, the difference between 1 and 4 is three. So if you start at a ribbon value of 1 (the 1 in 3.14) and travel 1/3 of the distance between the 1 and the 4, you’ll arrive at a ribbon value of 2. Likewise, 2/3 of the distance gets you to 3, and 3/3 (all the distance) gets you all the way to 4.

A displacement of n in the offset counter is the same as no displacement but starting pi at 10*pi*n.  It’s really not mathematically significant at all, but it looks pretty cool.

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Processing (Proce55ing) Experiments…

Tried my hand at Processing. Interesting stuff. Just playing around to find out what the capabilities are. Here are some links:

Moving dots: Dots

3D Cube: Cube  (takes a little while)



  I crossed a line today. :-)

I’ve opted to brush the dust off of my old PC (you know, that one I was using freshman/sophomore year of college, before upgrading to this shiny new Core-2 64-bit 8-Gig-o-RAM system I built for myself) and turn it into a Linux server.

Why? Because it’s something completely new and foreign to me, and I had some time and ambition to do so. My ultimate goal is to create a (slow but working) Red5 server. Red5 (FREE!) is the open-source alternative to the Adobe Media Server ($$$$$.$$!) – both of which allow users of my various flash programs to communicate with other users. In other words, I will be able to host my own multi-user apps, instead of relying on newmedia.rit.edu for this technology.

In the past few hours, I have learned more than I’ll be able to convey in this entry and the subsequent entries to follow on the same topic. I will summarize to give those who know Linux a chance to laugh at my newbieness, and those who know as much as I did yesterday a chance to gape at my newfound uber-geekdom:

Read the rest of this entry »


A summary of DPD…

I can say I’ve had a successful fall quarter. I decreased the amount of extra-curricular activities I was participating in, which opened up more time for coursework, allowing me to perform at the level I knew I was capable of but unable to demonstrate last year.

If you don’t believe me, check out the work I’ve done for one of my courses, Dynamic Persuasion Design:

Project 1 – Consensus | Project 2 – Tile | Project 3 – evilprinter.com

I’ve added a number of new skills to my repertoire. All three of those projects are in ActionScript 3.0. All of them use PHP/MySQL extensively to aid in content management. And the last two employ the Flash Media Server, either to broadcast messages between clients, or to stream video from a webcam. Not too shabby. :-)

- Joe

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3D Photography…

Check out the following swf:

Click to see behind the scenes, or to go back to the first view.

I want a camera that will simultaneously expose visible light and some other spectrum that is strongest when bouncing off things close to the camera, and weakest on those things furthest away. Then I could make these as easy as pressing the shutter release.


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